The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Blogger's Book Club

This Friday is definitely going to be one for the books. Not only is it the last Friday of the month, which means that it’s the time to link up with Carolann and Christy for the Beyond Words- A Bloggers Book Club, but Hurricane Harvey is rearing it’s ugly head and will definitely be hitting the Texas coast this weekend. Thankfully it’s not hitting Houston directly, but we are on the “dirty” side of the storm which means that we’ll be getting a whole heck of a lot of rain this weekend. So Chris and I are prepared to hunker down at the house all weekend and ride it out, and hopefully not get flooded in. But that’s neither here nor there because today we’re here to talk about our latest book club selection Beartown by Fredrik Backman.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Life Update

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Beartown is a small town located in the middle of the woods. What started off as a small town that was growing with a factory has turned into a small town that is dying as businesses and people begin to move away. The town does have some hope though, the Juniors Hockey Team is competing in the semi-finals of the National Championship. If they win this game and win the finals, that could mean a fresh new start for the town. Future players will want to train in Beartown so a new ice rink will be built and potentially even a shopping mall, which could turn this dying town around.

But one fateful night between two teenagers can change all of that. That one night will divide the town and turn friend against friend and neighbor against neighbor and teammate against teammate, and completely change two teenager’s lives. While on the surface Beartown can be viewed as a book about a hockey town, it really is so much more. It really makes you ask the question of what truly is right and wrong.

I feel like this is one of those books that you really can’t say too much about it because you just don’t want to give too much away. I obviously went into this book with really high expectations because I love Fredrik Backman and everybody kept on raving about how great this book was, and I think that it really lived up to those expectations.

The one thing that really surprised me about this book was how quick everybody was to become a mob and completely turn their backs on their friends that had been around for years. What happened in the book that was the main catalyst for everything to change in the town was so serious, and it amazed me how quickly everybody was able to discount what had happened and blame the victim. I understand that as a mother you want to protect your child and their dreams and goals, but as a mother you’re also supposed to help guide your children and teach them what’s right and wrong. I guess that’s what everybody would say is wrong with our generation today, that we’re too focused on getting our way instead of what’s right and wrong.

While I did really enjoy this book, I don’t think that this is my favorite Backman that I’ve read so far, I think that I actually enjoyed A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry a lot more. I feel like the content of Beartown was a lot darker than his other books that I’ve read, and I felt like the the writing was a little more jolting than some of his other books. While it did still feel like a Fredrik Backman book, it almost felt a little all over the place. I think that he was trying to give you the feel of being in the hockey rink and in the hockey culture, but it just didn’t work for me, which is why I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Anyways, if you haven’t had the chance to check out a Fredrik Backman book or you just haven’t picked this one up yet, definitely go and pick up Beartown as soon as you can. You won’t regret it, I promise, even if you don’t like hockey! Also make sure to join us next next month when we read One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This is my first TJR book, and I’m super excited!

Have you read Beartown? Did you enjoy it? 

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Beyond Words- Beartown: A book review of Fredrik Backman's new book about a town that revolves around hockey and so much more!


  • Rachel

    This isn’t the type of book that I gravitate towards usually, but I really like the sounds of it! Another one to add to my list! Thanks for sharing it. Stay safe this weekend and fingers crossed that you don’t have any flooding problems!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde’s Moment

    • Thanks so much Rachel! So far we haven’t really gotten a ton of rain or wind, so my fingers are crossed that it stays that way! And I’m not normally one that likes sports books either, but although the book revolves around a hockey team and they talk about hockey, it’s really more about human interaction. I hope that you have a chance to pick it up!

  • I still have a few other Backman books to read, but Beartown has been my favorite so far– it was definitely quite different from Ove and I wasn’t expecting what happened, but I find his storytelling so effective and engaging! I actually have One True Loves on my iPad so maybe I’ll try and read it in time for the next linkup. I hope you guys stay safe (& dry) during the storm this weekend.

    • Thank you so much Carly! SO far it hasn’t been too bad, but it hasn’t made landfall yet either. And I totally didn’t expect what happened to happen either, especially with how they described the locker room scene. I just wasn’t expecting the character who was responsible to actually make it happen. I hope that you get to read more of his books because like you said his storytelling is absolutely incredible. Also you have to link up for One True Loves! It’s so much fun to see what everybody thinks about the same book.

  • Nicole F

    I haven’t read Beartown. I’m kind of scared it will make my heart too heavy. I can’t wait to read your review for TJR. I haven’t read one of her books either. I only hear good things though!

    • While it was very heavy, I still feel like it had a good ending if that makes sense. I was happy with how the ending turned out, and felt like it was a very real world resolving of the problem. I’m excited to read a TJR book! Like you I’ve only heard great things about her!

  • Nadine

    I finished Ove last month and have Beartown downloaded on my audible account. Not sure when I plan to start it. One True Loves is my favorite TJR book!!! I love her and have read everything she has ever written. I need more! I hope you love it as much as I do.

    • I hope that I do as well! From hearing all the raving about her from the SUYB linkup I’m really excited to finally getting around to reading One True Loves! It’s been sitting in my Netgalley queue for way too long! I hope that you listen to Beartown soon! It’s a really good book!

  • Jen

    Sending lots of good thoughts your way in regards to the weather! I hope you aren’t subject to a whole mess of rain, stay dry and stay safe!

    • All that we’re supposed to get is rain since we’re on the dirty side of the hurricane, but hopefully it’s not as bad as what everybody keeps on saying. But we’re prepared and well stocked with food and water!

  • oh, i’m glad you liked it but bummer it wasn’t your favourite! i loved it and honestly don’t know how his other books can compare. but we’ll see when i get around to them.

    • It took me a little longer to get into this book, and I think that’s probably why it wasn’t my favorite, but I still really enjoyed Beartown a lot. I hope that you get around to reading some of his other books soon! They’re really all so good yet completely different!

  • I’m half way through A Man Called Ove right now. I love the funny parts, and the writing, but it gets a bit sad for me sometimes. I have a hard time with sad things related to old people and animals. So I have to put it down a lot. Glad you liked this one even if it wasn’t your top choice of his books! Oooh I want to read One True Loves… XO- Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • Well Beartown doesn’t have any sad parts related to animals or old people, so you might end up liking it a little bit better. I really enjoyed this book though, it just wasn’t my favorite by him. I think that a common theme in his books is his ability to pull at your heart strings so just be prepared for that with his other books too.

  • I’ve not read any of his books, but you’ve definitely piqued my interest with this one!! And I do love hockey, even if it’s not a hockey book per se. HA

    • Haha well definitely be sure to check this one out! It was a really good and quick read, and I really enjoyed it a lot!

  • I loved this review! I totally agree, it really bothered me the way the town turned. Now I have to pick up My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, I think that I will like it a lot more! He is an incredibly talented author, this just wasn’t my favorite book.

    • I feel like we tend to have the same opinions on books, so I’m not surprised that we ended up both liking this book but it not being our favorite Backman. I hope that you end up loving My Grandmother! I really loved this book and thought that it was so cool how he created the fantasy world as well.